Discussion: ROAR... 2021
(See the Poetry section this week.)
January 8, 2021
Over the holiday I was watching the TBN channel and a gentleman (I didn’t get his name) was telling of an African experience. According to the gentleman (guest), he was in a place where there were lions and coyotes. He asked the guide, if in a fight, which animal did he think would win? The guide replied it depends on who the coyote is facing. If the coyote is confronting a lion who has scars and appears to have been in fights. On the other hand, there is a strong-looking lion, no scars on him, he would choose the strong-looking lion. Surprised by the answer and inquiring why? The guide explained. The coyote can look at the scarred lion and know he was the one who survived pervious fights.
Back in the 80s I read the book by Tammy Faye Messner (Bakker at the time) entitled Run to the Roar. The story shared described the roaring lion. When lions become old and/or diseased, all they have left is their mighty roar. When it was time to seek for food, the old lion would see the prey and start roaring. In the opposite direction, the young, strong lion would be waiting. The prey would turn and run away from the fierce roaring lion, unknowingly in the opposite direction to the young, strong lion.
Looking at these two stories, we have so many lessons. The first story clarifies that scars are a symbol of victory and of survival to onlookers. Also, a sign of our scars shows us getting back up. Every win may not look like a win or feel like an achievement, but to the observer they see a winner. I imagine that this is the way the coyote might see the scarred lion. Disappointments and setbacks shouldn’t be considered as losses, but as experiences and hopefully gained wisdom. Not merely should we have gained information, but increasing in wisdom from what we have been through. There is nothing in life we go through wherein we shouldn’t come out wiser. Though it may take a while (a time of rest), we should move out stronger. If we concentrate on the mistakes, failures and sometimes betrayal, then we have truly lost.
There are triumphant moments. For athletes there are years of training, suffering injuries, sore muscles, sweat and tears trying to win in an event that is over in one day or weekend. Yet when (undisciplined, yet sometimes discipline) life brings us injuries, sore muscles, sweat and tears on our journey, we give up! The thing about life, even if you want nothing in life, you still got to fight!
In the second story, many are going in the wrong direction. Trying to escape what they regarded as a loud roar. They are hoping for the safer route. I realize some are tired and we must understand and learn how to rest, not just give up. We are running away from situations that can’t harm us, fleeing in the opposite direction into the arm of danger. We are fighting in places and situation we shouldn’t be. The old lion carried wisdom and survival skills within. Life is not out to beat us. We have to transform some viewpoints, release old ways, listen to new information and learn from it.
The world is and has changed without our endorsement. We can sit back and be left behind or we can advance to the newness of the future. Our destiny is already entwined in these changes, whether or not we like it. As I have expressed before, we can no longer be spectators of our lives. We have to be intentional in living our lives… every day! Loners now have to reach out to others, while others have to decrease their circle to a few friends. The poem The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost ends with these lines “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference”.
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